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An illusion of harmony: science and religion in Islam by Taner Edis

By Taner Edis

Present discussions within the West at the relation of technological know-how and faith concentration in general on science's uneasy courting with the conventional Judeo-Christian view of lifestyles. yet a parallel controversy exists within the Muslim international relating to how one can combine technology with Islam. As physicist Taner Edis exhibits during this interesting glimpse into modern Muslim tradition, a great deal of renowned writing in Muslim societies makes an attempt to handle such puzzling questions as: Is Islam a "scientific religion"? have been the discoveries of contemporary technological know-how foreshadowed within the Quran? Are clever layout conjectures extra beautiful to the Muslim point of view than Darwinian reasons? Edis examines the diversity of Muslim brooding about technological know-how and Islam, from blatantly pseudoscientific fantasies to relatively refined efforts to "Islamize science". From the world's most powerful creationist activities to extraordinary science-in-the-Quran apologetics, well known Muslim techniques advertise a view of typical technological know-how as a trifling fact-collecting task that coexists in near-perfect concord with literal-minded religion. on the grounds that Muslims are keenly conscious that technology and know-how were the keys to Western good fortune, they're desirous to harness expertise to accomplish a Muslim model of modernity. but whilst, they're reluctant to permit technological know-how to turn into self sufficient of faith and are suspicious of Western secularisation. Edis examines all of those conflicting developments, revealing the problems dealing with Muslim societies attempting to adapt to the trendy technological global. His discussions of either the parallels and the diversities among Western and Muslim makes an attempt to harmonise technological know-how and faith make for a special and exciting contribution to this carrying on with debate.

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Ijtihad: Independent legal reasoning based on the sacred sources (hadith or the Quran). It usually contrasts with imitation—legal reasoning that closely follows settled precedent. Madrasa: Classical Muslim educational institution, devoted especially to training religious scholars. Nizam: Order. Often used to refer to the divinely imposed order of the universe. Sharia: Islamic law. Used narrowly, sharia means a recognized body of legal rulings and religious practices. More broadly, it can stand for the whole legal and ritual framework of traditional Islam.

Still, although it was obvious from early on that I was to remain an incorrigible skeptic, some of the constant insistence that Islam was a uniquely rational religion must have had an effect. I entered my college years convinced that Islam had lagged behind when compared to the political and scientific progress derived from the European Enlightenment. But even as I hoped Islam would progress to become just a cultural coloration fading into the background of a fully modern Turkey, I also thought it was somehow more reasonable than other religions.

I will not try to define a set of essentials of Islam and work out their consequences for science—that would misrepresent the current state of Islam. ”21 I agree that Islam can be an impossibly broad term, serving as little more than a symbol for all that is good and proper as seen by someone identifying themselves as a Muslim. I have friends who believe they are good Muslims, though they disregard all of the traditional observances and know very little about the content of the sacred sources for orthodox Islam.

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